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10/13/2009: "First Rain"
The unseasonable storm that has been slouching towards Los Angeles seems to have weakened, which may mean few if any landslides in the burns left by the recent conflagrations, and maybe even a chance for shoots and sprouts to establish themselves and firm up the hillsides a bit before the next storm comes.

It also means I can feel less guilty about enjoying the first wet weather in many months. I love the low, rich-textured skies in their many shades of gray, and I love the rain itself, and especially the scents the desert plants exhale in rainy weather.

Today being Tuesday, I rode the fortyish miles to South Pasadena and back to have coffee with the Mighty Chuck Schmidt and pick up some t-shirts he had pressed for Bicycle Fixation.

The temperature was perfect, and the rain was on-again-off-again as vague squalls passed through. I put on the rain cape for only six of those miles; the rest of the time I let the drizzle or light rain fall on my wool knickers and jersey, knowing that the mute wisdom of sheep hair would keep me warm even if I did occasionally feel the damp, and would dry out within a mile or two after I passed out of the rain. (The cape was definitely necessary for the six miles I wore it, though!)

Perhaps most exhilarating, in a social rather than a sensual way, was seeing plenty of other cyclists out in the rain--cyclists whose rigs and outfits indicated that they were voluntary riders, and who were out there anyway. And not looking at all bothered by the weather. (The news has been harping about the oncoming storm for well over a week, so no one was caught in it unawares.)

In northern cities this may be no big deal, but here it means that Los Angeles is showing just a few more signs of growing up at last!

The rain is stronger now, but still steady and not harsh. If it stays that way, maybe some of the water will stay with us as well, in our aquifers. We've been a long, long time without the rain....

We'll see what morning brings.

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